How To Care For Your Rye Sourdough Starter

 

Want to bake delicious, gut-friendly sourdough bread that would make your grandma proud? You can! Our goal is to give you the tools that you need to become a rockstar chef. Baking sourdough bread is fun, and although it can be challenging at first, the reward of a freshly baked, nutritious and delicious loaf of bread is well worth it.

Start with simple recipes and follow our guidelines for taking care of your white and whole wheat sourdough starter. Remember that baking with sourdough is an art form; all flour, baking environments, and ferments are unique. Use your chef’s intuition and best judgement to ultimately decide what your starter needs, and have fun with it! 

 

To refresh your rye sourdough starter:

Take your starter out of the fridge. Take 25 grams ( 1 big tbsp) of sourdough starter and put it into a new jar. Put the discarded sourdough starter back in the fridge with a loose lid so it can breathe and use it for recipes that do not require a significant natural rise, like waffles, pancakes, and green onion cakes.
Add 90 g (100 ml) of water to the new jar and whisk together until no clumps remain.

 

Add 100 g (about ¾ cup) of rye flour to the jar and mix until no clumps remain. It will be a stiff batter.

 

Cover the jar with a clean cloth, new coffee filter, or beeswax wrap. Place the jar somewhere that stays consistently around 21 c. Your starter will be ready for baking when you can see gas bubbles from the side of the jar and it smells sweet (this will take about 7 hours or more). If you are not baking, put the starter back in the fridge when the fermentation is at its peak.



Please note

  • The starter can live in the fridge while you are not using it, but it should be refreshed twice a week, even if you aren’t baking. It will be ready for a feeding when it looks overly deflated, smells sour and/ or develops a hooch (liquid on top). The hooch is harmless, just pour it off before feeding it
  • Because this is a rye starter, it is best to feed it rye flour.
  • If you want to speed up fermentation when you feed the starter (for instance if you want to use it to bake sooner), take the starter out of the fridge a few hours before you feed it to let it warm up. You can also use warm water (between 21-30c) to feed your starter.
  • You can save your discarded starter to make waffles, pancakes, green onion cakes,or other items that do not require a significant natural rise. Simply keep the older starter refrigerated and either use it within the week or feed it equal parts by weight of flour/water (around 60 g flour/60 g water) to keep it alive until you use it up. Aim for feeding the starter about ⅓ of its volume.
  • All flour, baking environments, and sourdough are unique; use your best judgement and intuition to ultimately decide what your starter needs

 

For those of you who want to master the art of sourdough, I recommend the book The Sourdough School by Vanessa Kimbell. 

You can also find great sourdough recipes, tips, and inspiration online at The Sourdough Blog and at The Perfect Loaf Blog

Want to know what to do with all your excess sourdough discard? Check out our recipes for "Sourdough Waffles" and "Sour Cakes"

Happy Baking Chef! 

 

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